The second time's the charm for House Republicans who get exactly the 120 votes needed to pass a bill to double Fulton County's homestead exemption.
After failing to pass by one vote last week, bill sponsors threatened to hold up local legislation for cities and counties across the state until they had enough votes to pass it.
Fulton County Commission Chair John Eaves describes the vote as punitive and mean-spirited.
“It’s the ugly side of politics in terms of extreme partisanship,” he tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.
Now that the bill is headed to the Senate, he is making the rounds at the State Capitol to warn Senators of the bill’s impact.
Doubling the homestead exemption from $30,000 to $60,000 would mean about a $50 million annual cut to Fulton’s budget.
“Whether you turn on your water in north Fulton or whether you go to a public library in downtown Atlanta... we touch the lives of people, and those services, those things we provide will be impacted,” he says.
Bill sponsors say the measure is needed to shrink the size of the county government and allow Fulton’s new cities to offer more services. It’s among a half dozen bills this session to change the governance of the county.
If the bill passes the Senate by a two-thirds majority vote, Fulton County voters would get a say at the polls in 2014.